In this blog, Katie Hanson, Senior Consumer Affairs Manager at Ofcom UK, explains 999BSL – a service introduced in 2022 that allows deaf British Sign Language (BSL) users to access emergency services in their first language. How does 999BSL work, and what was the process of consulting sign language users to ensure the service met their needs? What are the key requirements for 999BSL and how does it ensure equivalent access? What were the challenges, and how did the service overcome these? Find out more below.
The commercial and regulatory drive to roll out 4G/5G networks is generally welcomed by all stakeholders. Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) can increase network capacity by refarming valuable spectrum from “legacy” 2G and 3G network services to facilitate the provision of more enhanced services to their customers while regulators and authorities will be pleased to see faster speeds, better connectivity, and more enhanced and flexible communication services available to the public.
With at least 650 million people with disabilities worldwide, and 100 million people with disabilities in the European Union alone, accessibility matters. So why is it that most emergency services can still only be reached via voice call? With EU legislation deadlines looming, let’s explore the obstacles – and solutions – for accessible emergency communications.
Earlier this year, emergency call centres experienced a strange and alarming issue. Globally, millions of calls to emergency numbers were made, but the callers were completely silent.
According to the current legal framework, access to emergency services revolves around number-based interpersonal communication services, which means the caller identity is one of the main attributes of the emergency call.
NG-SOS has created a unique cross-border connection of 4 EU mobile apps, which together currently serve more than 3.5 million users, and which have been communicating within a homogeneous barrier-free region for more than 4 years.
Here were are! Today is the deadline for the 3,5-year long-period for the Member States of the European Union to deploy telephone-based public warning systems. However, public authorities should not limit themselves only to the legal mandate but rather make sure to get the best possible system to alert their population.